Today’s Shenzhen University, with its distinctive features and strong academic strength, enjoys a good reputation both home and abroad. So, what’s the history of the university and how was it established?
After the establishment of the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone (Shenzhen SEZ), the city’s economy developed rapidly. However, most officials did not have a high level of cultural competence and professionalism, and the professional talents in Shenzhen could not meet the needs of the rapid development of the Shenzhen SEZ, both in terms of quantity and quality. At that time, Shenzhen was weak in cultural education and there was no institute available that could cultivate such talents. If a comprehensive university could be established in Shenzhen, these problems could be solved.
The Shenzhen Municipal Committee of the CPC was determined to build the first comprehensive university in the SEZ. In 1983, a leader of the Shenzhen Municipal Committee of the CPC told Luo Zhengqi, who later worked as the principal of Shenzhen University, “We decided to develop education even if we need to apply for a loan…We will establish the university even if we need to sell pants… please cultivate talents for us.”
In May 1985, after the State Council approved the request for the establishment of Shenzhen University, all relevant departments, under the leadership of the Shenzhen Municipal Committee of the CPC and Shenzhen Municipal Government, cooperated closely to support the preparatory work to establish Shenzhen University.
In July 1985, Shenzhen University started to enroll students. In August of the same year, the university officially admitted students. On September 27 of that year, the university opened as scheduled with more than 200 undergraduates. It took only less than four months from the approval of the establishment of the university to its opening.
Shenzhen University inherits the good traditions of domestic universities while at the same time adopting innovative approaches to education. As a university in the SEZ, it initiated the practice of paying tuition fees, providing no job allocation for graduates and no student subsidies, setting up scholarships, establishing a recruitment system for teaching and administrative staff, and introducing credit systems and work-study systems, thus creating a new path for new universities on the Chinese mainland.